Will drafting—disabled beneficiaries
Will drafting—disabled beneficiaries

The following Wills & Probate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Will drafting—disabled beneficiaries
  • The beneficiary's position
  • A child
  • The elderly relative
  • The options
  • Trustees

Testators who find themselves in a position where they are obliged or feel obliged to look after disabled relatives are in a difficult position. What they can or should do for that relative is often difficult to judge and will depend on many different factors such as the age of the person, their disability, their health prognosis, their needs and the level of funding required, the latter of which will require a consideration of the state's liability.

Because of these numerous factors, no two cases are alike and there is a danger in relying too heavily on the theory of one precedent fits all.

In particular, the practitioner needs to be aware that if the potential beneficiary is or is likely to be, in receipt of state support, any income paid to them or for their benefit could result in the removal of a similar sum of the benefit. Similarly, the payment of a capital sum could result in the same result or indeed, the effective taking of the capital to fund their care. In both cases there is no material advantage to the beneficiary.

In many cases the payment of a sum to the beneficiary could be a disaster if they are not capable of dealing with money or there may be a risk of them being cheated out of their funds.

Possibly the